Shut down and drain your system around October 15th.
Note: If a hard frost is forecast in your area before you have shut down your sprinkler system, your back flow system must be protected. You can protect your back flow device by covering it with some type of insulation.
Shutting Down Your Sprinkler System (PDF with instructions and graphic)
When I have a client who is buying a home. I strongly recommend that they replace the entry door knobs and deadbolts on their home as soon as reasonably possible. There is no way to know who the previous owners have given a key to. For personal safety alone, this is a task that should not be delayed.
Types of Cylindrical Door Knobs
Privacy lock (aka bedroom) – has a button or thumb turn on the inside knob, which locks the door so it cannot be opened from the outside.
Passage (aka closet and hall) – cannot be locked and is typically used on closets and hallway doors.
Keyed Lockset (aka entry) – can be locked or unlocked from both sides of the door by usin g a key, a button or a throw latch depending on the type.
Dead bolt – This is an auxiliary lock that is used to improve security. A double cylinder dead bolt requires a key on both sides of the door to lock or unlock the door.
Keyed Alike – this is when all locksets and deadbolts use the same key to lock/unlock. When replacing locksets/deadbolts on more than one exterior door you can purchase multiple sets that are keyed alike. Look for matching numbers on the back of the packaging.
Steps to Changing a Doorknob
1. Detach the trim or rose (the ring of metal between both doorknobs and the door) by removing the two screws that hold it on. In newer doorknobs, this does not exist.
2. Remove two more screws under the trim. These are long screws that attach the two doorknobs on either side of the door.
3. Pull the doorknobs apart and remove them from the door.
4. Remove the two screws that hold the bolt (the locking mechanism), which remains attached to the door, and extract the bolt or throw.
Note: If you are replacing your doorknob with the same brand, you may not need to change this portion out.
5. Look at the metal strike plate attached to the frame around the door (this is what catches the bolt). If the strike plate is not loose and is the right color, leave it there. Otherwise, detach it by removing its screws.
6. Insert the new bolt into the door and screw it into place. Remember to face the slanted side toward the direction the door closes.
7. Insert the doorknob on both sides of the door, making sure the two are aligned so that the long screws can hold them together.
8. Tighten the screws gradually, alternating each one so that the doorknobs come together evenly.
To increase the life of your water heater here are some recommendations:
#3 is one of the recommendations I can help you with. Luckily, repairing screens is so simple it’s crazy not to do it today.
Repairing a plastic or fiberglass screen
Most screens today are made from plastic or fiberglass and small holes can easily be patched.
You can purchase a simple patch with self-sticking adhesive on one side from your local hardware story. The patch comes in a 3″ x 3″ square and can be cut to size. Apply the patch directly over any small hole or cut in the screen and you’re done!
For really small holes you can simply use a small amount of household cement, the patch will be next to invisible.
Repairing metal screens
Although metal screens are much less common they are still around on many homes. But repairing them can be just as easy.
You can purchase a ready made metal screen repair patch or you can cut a patch from an old screen. If you’re cutting a piece of screen yourself it should be at least 1/2″ – 1″ larger on all sides than the hole you’re repairing.
Unravel several strands from the patch and if necessary bend the strands along the edges.
Slip the bent strands of the patch through the screen and fold them over on the opposite side to hold the patch in place.
A small amount of household cement on the ends of the strands may help keep them in place over time.
If you’re screen is damaged beyond repair you can easily replace the screen by following some simple steps. Here’s a link to my blog post that will walk you through the steps.
Once the water line reaches the house, the main water shut off valve allows the homeowner to shut off the water for repairs. The main water shut off valve is typically located in the basement or crawl space on the wall closest to the street.
Begin installing the new spline at a corner. Using the convex (grooved edge) side of the screen rolling tool to push the spline into the groove. Continue around the frame. If wrinkles or bulges appear, remove the spline and reroll. Small wrinkles should tighten up as you get back to the starting corner.